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Karim Traboulsi

#NobelPrize: At least they didn't give it to Trump

ICAN executive director Beatrice Fihn (L) celebrates Nobel Peace Prize news [AFP]

Date of publication: 6 October, 2017

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By awarding the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the Nobel Peace Prize committee wades into post-modern irony, but perhaps we should be thankful they didn't give it to Trump.
By awarding the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the Nobel Peace Prize committee has again waded into post-modern irony, but perhaps we should be thankful they didn't award it to Donald J Trump or worse, Bashar al-Assad.

The announcement came on Friday, read by the awards committee's head, Berit Reiss-Andersen, with the air of someone who still thinks the prize holds credibility, despite it having been awarded to the drone warrior-in-chief Barack Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi, silent enabler of the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.

ICAN describes itself as a coalition of grassroots non-government groups in more than 100 nations. It began in Australia and was officially launched in Vienna in 2007.

In July, 122 nations adopted the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. But ICAN has so far failed to sign up the world's main nuclear states including the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.

Nonetheless, the Nobel Prize Committee has chosen to preemptively award its possible future success, snubbing the likes of the White Helmets in Syria and the engineers of the imperiled nuclear deal with Iran, which could have sent a stronger message to Donald Trump as he sets out to unravel it.

This is not the first time the Nobel Committee has attempted to influence future events, perhaps out of a sense of overconfident self-importance.

The decision to to award the prize to Barack Obama (for not being George W. Bush) at the start of his term was similarly justified - yet in the end had little influence on an American president who inexorably escalated many of his predecessor's wars with a high cost to civilian lives. 

While one wonders how exactly the committee members choose the winning candidate - hopefully it doesn't involve flipping coins and drinking games - perhaps we should rejoice that the committee did not have similar ideas about Donald Trump.

Far from nudging him into choosing the path of peace, that would have probably been seen by the narcissist as a thumbs up, a confirmation that he is the best president in all time and we would probably have never heard the end of it on Twitter. 

For that, at least, thanks, O noble Nobel Committee!

Follow Karim Traboulsi on Twitter: @Kareemios

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